The two ovaries (̄o ′ v̆a -r̄e z; ovum, egg) are small organs suspended in the pelvic cavity by ligaments. The suspensory ligament extends from each ovary to the lateral body wall, and the ovarianligament attaches the ovary to the superior margin of the uterus(figure 19.9). In addition, the ovaries are attached to the poste-rior surface of the broad ligament by folds of peritoneum called the mesovarium (mez′ ̄o -v̄a ′ r̄e -̆u m). The ovarian arteries, veins, and nerves traverse the suspensory ligament and enter the ovary through the mesovarium.
A layer of visceral peritoneum covers the surface of the ovary. The outer part of the ovary is composed of dense connective tissue and contains ovarian follicles (figure 19.10). Each of the ovarian follicles contains an oocyte (ō′ ō-sı̄t; o¯on, egg), the female sex cell. Loose connective tissue makes up the inner part of the ovary, where blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerves are located.